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Archive Report: Allied Forces

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.

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51 Squadron Crest
23/24.05.1940 No. 51/78 Squadron Whitley V N1361 EY-F Fl/Lt. Ian L. McLaren

Operation: Communications

Date: 23/24th May 1940

Unit: No. 51 Squadron

Type: Whitley Mk.V

Serial: N1361

Code: EY-F

Base: RAF Linton-on-Ouse

Location: Ochamps Belgium

Pilot: Fl/Lt. Ian Ledoux McLaren MiD. 35151 RAF Age 24. Killed (1)

Obs: Sgt. James Ronald Mirfin 590718 RAF Age 23. Pow No: 13102 Camp: Stalag Kopernikus

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. John Buckfield MiD. 580759 RAF Pow No: 13091 Stalag Luft Sagan and Belaria

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. John Spencer 551641 RAF Pow No: 13063 Camp: Stalag Kopernikus

Air/Gnr: AC1 H. Wilkinson 629011 RAF Pow No: 13106 Camp: Stalag Kopernikus


Taking off at 23:00 hrs from RAF Linton-on-Ouse with five others to attack communication networks, many other targets were attacked during the night with various other units.

Hit by flak at 02:15 hrs crashing at 02:18 hrs near Recogne by Flak Abt. 292 with the help of Scheinwerfer (High powered searchlights) III/111 (mot) at Ochamps Belgium

(1) On the 28th April 1939 F/O. McLaren ran into the hangar doors at RAF Linton-on-Ouse whilst with 58 Squadron. The aircraft, Heyford IIA K4027 was damaged beyond repair. F/O. McLaren was a graduate of St. Andrews University where he had gained a BSc (honours) and in 1937 was one of 13 successful candidates to receive a permanent commission.

(2) Sgt. John Buckfield was awarded his MiD on the 28th December 1945 for work that he carried out within the sick bay in the PoW camp.

Burial details:

Fl/Lt. Ian Ledoux McLaren. Hotton War Cemetery,  Luxembourg, Belgium. Grave V.C.11. Son of William McLaren, MA. BSc. and Margaret Smith McLaren, of Lochee, Dundee, Scotland.

Researched by Michel Beckers for Aircrew Remembered November 2015. Grave photo courtesy of Des Philippet - all others from the Michel Beckers collection. Detailed information from Bill Chorleys 2nd edition of Bomber Command Losses 1936-1940.

Acknowledgements: Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives and Fred Paradie - Paradie Archive (both on this site), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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Last Modified: 20 November 2015, 22:42